Jim was born in Southwest City, MO. He graduated from Southwest City High School (1933) at the age of 16, having skipped two grades. Jim attended Drury University for undergraduate study, finishing his work in three years. He continued his education at the University of Missouri, graduating from the School of Law (1940).[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”2/3″][vc_column_text]
Jim founded the Paul Law Firm in 1940. He was elected McDonald County Prosecuting Attorney the same year. Jim served as a Master Sergeant during World War II. He continued to serve as McDonald County Prosecuting Attorney (excluding three terms: 1956-1958, 1960-1962, and 1962-1964) until his death in 1976. Jim’s 30 years of service make him one of the longest-serving prosecuting attorneys in Missouri history. He was also a well-known authority on property and real estate law, a tradition that he passed on to his sons, Abe and Jim. In addition to practicing law, Jim had a farm near Lanagan and a cattle operation outside Ginger Blue.
Jim was survived by his wife, Jennibel, who passed away in 2000 at the age of 80. Jenni was a lifelong teacher in McDonald County, teaching at Southwest City, Noel, and McDonald County High Schools as well as Crowder College. She taught English and music. Jenni was also a longtime pianist at the Noel United Methodist Church. Jim and Jenni had four children: Abe, Lee, Jim, and Ann. Abe and Jim are attorneys at the Paul Law Firm. Lee is a teacher who has devoted 30 years to teaching in McDonald County at Noel Junior High School and McDonald County High School. Ann is the office manager and paralegal at the Paul Law Firm in Neosho.